Well gosh. It’s a start. From a Boston.com online chat:
Comment From MaryAnn
Do you believe that human beings activity contribute to climate change? Do you think we can reverse it? Do you think we should try?
MaryAnn: Yes. I believe that human activities are a contributing factor. That is why we need to develop a national energy policy. A true “all of the above approach” is necessary. When re-elected, I look forward to working on this issue.
Now, this is not as strong an about-face as former climate skeptic Robert Muller, who wrote this weekend in the New York Times:
Our results show that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.
As climate change denialism appears increasingly silly to everyone, I’m not surprised to see Brown cover this particular square on the chessboard. He sounds like the President. As far as it goes, that’s a good thing. If this were 1989, Brown’s attitude would be welcome and perhaps adequate.
However, the urgency required in this case is far beyond what Brown or Obama are proposing. Social change is slow; climate change is turning out to be pretty damned rapid. It’s a threat to our food supply today. It’s a threat to water supply for many people today. It’s affecting the economy today.
If you acknowledge you’ve got cancer, you’re admitting you’ve got a huge problem on your hands. If you acknowledge that global warming is real, then you damn well better treat it with some urgency. Sen. Brown should put his votes where his mouth is: Support a carbon tax, and changing his tune on supporting military development of renewable energy.
We will see if Brown uses this bland acknowledgement simply to take the climate issue off the table; or if he intends to use his powers of leadership and influence in the GOP caucus to actually try to deal with the real issue.
He could have been doing that all this time. He could do it now — not “when re-elected.”
Is this a green shoot, or a fig leaf?